POLAND — The Regional School Unit 16 board will hire an outside consultant to look into issues raised last week by a group of community members concerned about the superintendent’s performance.

In a special meeting Monday, board members agreed to hire Ann Chapman, a consultant who works for the board’s law firm, Drummond Woodsum in Portland. Chapman served as policy director for the Maine School Management Association and spent six years on the Cape Elizabeth school board, two of them as chairperson. She consults with schools on student, personnel and policy issues.

Board Chairwoman Mary Martin said Chapman will identify the issues that have community members concerned and present the board with recommendations. Martin said there is no timeline for this work, but the board hopes to have it done “in the near future.”

“It’s something we want to get resolved as quickly as we can,” she said.

Martin said she did not know how much Chapman’s work will cost the Poland, Minot and Mechanic Falls school system.

Last week, a group of community members told the school board they have no confidence in Superintendent Tina Meserve. They presented a petition signed by about 100 people asking for an independent committee to look into her performance.

The next day, one of those community members, Caitlin Rawson, said she’s concerned that staff morale is poor, student bullying is not being addressed and Meserve has cut teachers and programs while she makes $100,000 a year.

Meserve, who has served as superintendent for four years, denied the allegations.

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